In any risky sport, one of the most important elements for the enjoyment of the activity is safety and risk control at all times. To sail alone or with people without incidents, problems, shocks or impacts it is vital to fulfill certain essential safety standards.
One of the most important points regarding safety in kiteboarding -and other risky sports- is to have materials and equipment in perfect condition, which also especially suits the level of the user and weather conditions at all times.
Thus for a sportsperson, or rider -people who practice kiteboarding- who weighs 154 pounds and is 5’6” tall, under normal conditions, eight to twelve knots by its constitution and height must carry a material consisting of a kite or sail of sixteen to eighteen meters. This type of navigation is often called “light wind”. It is a variant of kitesurfing which is very popular in areas that do not enjoy lots of wind.
In windy conditions -between 0 to 16 knots- for an average rider as mentioned above, the average kite should be twelve to fifteen meters long. This type of navigation is quiet and allows us to enjoy the sport of kiteboarding almost at full capacity, it is a quiet and smooth ride that allows us to sail, surf, play with the waves and even try to do freestyle tricks and jumps.
Faced with the force of a constant wind between sixteen and twenty knots, the ideal kite should be ten meters long. A nine or eleven meter kite would work too, but they are not preferred by kiters since ten meter ones are considered more versatile, given the general conditions of windy scenarios. With this type of comet we can enjoy sailing at its broadest level. Ten meters is enough to encompass the strength of the wind and gives us the power to do jumps and tricks, and the kite is not large enough to be slow, allowing us great maneuverability and speed when performing tricks.
Conditions with wind gusts ranging between twenty and twenty-eight knots must require the use of kites smaller than eight meters. The more wind, the more speed, adrenaline, fun but unfortunately the risk level increases as well. Under these conditions it is necessary to have a small kite, which does not take on the full power of the wind and is extremely quick to correct errors or exit the wind window quickly if necessary.
The world of kiteboarding is exciting and fun, but above it should be enjoyed safely.
Choose a wetsuit is not something to be taken lightly. It is, in fact, one of the most important elements of equipment during the winter, as it allows you to practice without getting cold for hours, thus avoiding the dreaded hypothermia.
When the winter comes, being thermally protected is the most important thing. A good wetsuit is the key to enjoying your winter sailings. A wetsuit of poor quality, unsuitable or a sizing not according to your measurements can ruin a good sailing and in extreme cases, even endanger your life.
Recommended neoprene thickness: the thicker, the warmer; but less elastic and less comfortable. Usually the measurements are presented in millimeters. A 4/3 is a suit that has 4 mm thick neoprene in the body (chest and back) and 3 mm in the legs and sleeves.
The seams should be well sealed and they must be very resistant to stretching. Good seams should be well reinforced to prevent tearing. Wetsuits for spring and summer are usually 2 mm thick and are usually shortys. Wetsuits for kiting with wind and a colder temperature are usually 4/3 or 5/3.
The front zipper facilitates donning and doffing. Notice that the zipper is covered by neoprene, thus helping avoid friction.
In colder areas a 6/4 can be used, but as we discussed earlier, this thickness is less elastic and produces somewhat more uncomfortable movements.
Shorty wetsuits, short sleeves, and short leg above the knee for spring or summer. These are recommended in summer to avoid any problems of hypothermia in the event of a shipwreck.
Full suit, sleeves and long leg for autumn and winter. Many thicknesses are available: 3/2, 4/3, 5/3, 5/4 and so on, according to seasonal use and place.
Some wetsuits are made out of a type of plastic that protects you from the wind. It’s a suit widely used by windsurfers, and unfortunately the material is quite fragile. Neoprene is now the most commonly used material and it’s mixed with lycra, which gives it elasticity and unparalleled comfort.
The most comfortable wetsuits are called “Ultra Stretch”, they’re usually the most expensive ones within the various brands of suits, but are also the most recommended, since they give an incredible sensation of not wearing anything which allows you almost complete freedom of movement.